The following is my concept of what might have gone on when former Darien Democratic First Selectman and now state affordable housing czar in Hartford Evonne Klein called current Darien Republican First Selectman Jayme Stevenson to ask for a recommendation for Darien Town Administrator Karl Kilduff who Klein planned to hire into a senior financial position in her organization.
Evonne: Jayme, I plan on hiring Karl into my organization and protocol requires that I call his current boss and make sure she has nothing untoward to say about him.
Jayme: First of all, I don’t know what untoward means. Second, that bastard Kilduff. I don’t know how many jobs I’ve kept him from getting by telling his proposed new employer what an idiot he was. I’ve screwed up his chances so many times he became a verb. To Kilduff somebody means to keep somebody from getting a job by bad mouthing him. I caused a verb, not an interjection or conjunction, to be named after him. This is how that ungrateful bastard repays me.
Evonne: I’ll take that as a strong positive recommendation.
Jayme: You bitch. You do this and I’ll run for Lieutenant Governor.
Evonne: Jayme, is that a threat or a promise?
Jayme: You bitch. Do you know that I may actually be forced to do some work. I won’t be able to hang around the Maintenance Garage anymore or ride in the town trucks in my boots. I won’t be able to play with the COGs. Oh God, how I love those COGs.
Evonne: Jayme, pull yourself together.
Jayme: As hard as I tried, I couldn’t stop the HR Director from leaving. I was trying to get the younger voter but the deadbeat Sommer had a balance worse than Puerto Rico and Greece combined and now Kilduff is leaving.
Evonne: Thanks for your time Jayme.
Paragraphs six through nine of EMS consultant Bob Holdsworth’s resignation letter are particularly confusing. I have already covered Bob’s history of “adequate.”
What Bob thought was adequate was paramedic response times of 8 -12 minutes and he states the “published” average is 9.5 minutes. “Published” implies “published” by Post 53 of which he does not take ownership. In fact, 9.5 cannot be correct. On Post’s website, the paramedic response time is usually about nine plus minutes but, as Post has recently started noting, the 9.5 is the time from when paramedics are notified to the time they arrive on scene. The 9.5 excludes the time it takes Darien PD to “handoff” the 911 call to CMED which Bob estimates at 1-2 minutes. Also excluded is the dispatch time it takes CMED to locate a paramedic. My analysis indicates the dispatch time to be approximately four minutes. I reviewed these three components of paramedic response time but Bob’s analysis is incoherent and just plain wrong.
In any event, the fact is that Darien’s paramedic response time is 14.5-15.5((1-2)+4+9.5) which far exceeds Bob’s 8-12 minutes “which falls within generally accepted response times.” Please remember that these are averages. There are many response times that are much, much longer. Also, please remember that we have kids answering these calls. Note that I will be reviewing response time standards in the near future.
If I understand what Bob goes on to say is that having a unit in town wouldn’t have an impact in “95% plus” of the cases. I don’t know how he can reach such a precise conclusion if he couldn’t do enough work to finish the assignment and also state: “We cannot render an opinion about the need for a dedicated paramedic.” However, let us take Bob at his word. If Darienites are at risk in 5% of cases, then that is a big number. If we are risking death in 5% of the paramedic calls, we have a problem.
Bob didn’t do much work and can’t conclude on paramedics but he is comfortable concluding we have a great EMS plan. I rest my case for tonight. This letter is a joke but you have to wonder whether it left us enough clues to divine that Bob really didn’t think much of our EMS system.
In paragraph 7 of of his resignation letter, EMS consultant Bob Holdsworth stated that paramedic response times are “adequate.” Adequate has a history in the battle for Darien based paramedics.
In 2013 at a BOS meeting, EMS Review Committe (EMSRC) Chairman Dr. Cara said that our EMS system was “adequate.” I and others responded that Darien does not accept “adequate” when assessing our schools, athletic teams or anything else. I said at the time that Dr. Cara used “adequate” as a CYA. He didn’t want to overtly offend the Post 53 cult and fan club but yet did not want to give credit to an EMS system that didn’t deserve it.
Interestingly, soon afterward I attended an EMSRC meeting in which Dr. George, a retired MD and EMSRC committee member, almost went over the table to get at Dr. Cara for his use of “adequate.” Such is the ferocity of the Post 53 cult and fan club. It is interesting to note that Dr. George was later arrested for beating up his wife. Apparently, Dr. George had a substance abuse problem. Tragically, he later died a mysterious death in a fire on Cape Cod.
I had provided Bob with information that revealed the Dr. Cara “adequate” incident and we discussed it briefly. I guess adequate stuck in his mind. I wonder if he was trying to send a message.
At the BOS meeting when the Bob resignation was announced, Selectmen said they wanted best practices utilized in our EMS system. I guess they will have to accept “adequate” practices.
In the last sentence of paragraph 6 of his resignation letter, EMS consultant Bob Holdsworth states: “Also, you should re-sign and tighten your contract with a paramedic provider and hold them to response times agreed upon.”
I believe this contract is between Post 53 and Stamford EMS. I gave Bob a copy of this contract when I met with him. This contract dates back to 1996. That is 19 years ago, 19 years!!!! I told Bob that the contract was hopelessly outdated and the response time targets, such as they were, were not being met. I guess he followed up.
I started an FOI battle for this contract back in June 2009 and was finally successful in obtaining the contract in March 2010. I received permission from the Darien Library to place the contract in the reference section for public
review in April 2010.
Post 53 has not updated this contract because Posties simply do not care about the people of Darien. Posties care about their own self importance more than they do about the well being of their neighbors. In addition, the planning for their Food Fair takes precedence over contracts for paramedic responses.
I wonder how many lives could have been saved over all these years if Darien had had paramedics based in Darien.
In yesterday’s Sunday New York Times, there was an inspirational article about how speed to treatment has meant a dramatic 38% plunge in the cardiac death rate. This is a long article so I will try and summarize.
The front page article discusses how methods developed at Yale have been put into effect around the country. These methods deal with speed to treatment for heart attack victims after they reach the hospital. As an example, efforts to speed care at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden, New Jersy are highlighted. Camden is a violent, poverty stricken community. It is on the other end of the economic and social spectrum from Darien. The difference is that there are people in Camden that care about saving lives. Unfortunately, in Darien we have First Selectman Jayme Stevenson and Post 53 who don’t care.
The article talks about paramedics speeding to victims, hooking them up to EKGs and speeding the patient to Our Lady of Lourdes. In a case study, a patient is at the hospital 24 minutes after the 911 call for paramedics. EMTs, much less teenage EMTs like Post 53 has, are not mentioned. EMTs cannot administer EKGs. In Darien, where paramedics have to come from other towns, it takes, on average, almost 16 minutes for paramedics to reach a patient. That is the average. Response times in excess of 20 minutes are not unusual. That is 20 minutes to just reach the patient which means the time to hospital is much, much longer. If speed to treatment is so important after the patient reaches the hospital, then the paramedic response time before the hospital is just as important.
There is also a mention of how important speed to treatment for strokes is. Neurologists say: “Time is brain.” This means the longer it takes to treat a stroke, the more brain function is lost.
Darien does not have paramedics based in Darien which creates excessive paramedic response times. In the article, a heart attack victim in an ambulance asks the paramedic: “Can this kill me.” The paramedic, not a Postie teenager, tells the driver: “Step on it.”
Darien does not have this type of committed, first rate EMS system because First Selectman Jayme Stevenson and Post 53 don’t want us to have it.
I believe it was back in 2010 when Darien decided to join CMED to help dispatch Post 53 and paramedics when a report of a medical emergency comes into Darien PD via 911. I may be wrong but I remember an initiation fee of something on the order of $35,000 to be followed by annual fees.
Now, five years later, EMS consultant Bob Holdsworth tells us in paragraphs 5 and 6 of his resignation letter “that reported response times may actually be 1-2 minutes longer” because of the handoff from Darien PD to CMED. Bob states: “this should be better investigated and shortened if possible.”
My question is why haven’t Post 53 Director Ron Hammer and other Post management investigated this during these past five years? I would think that if Hammer and his fellow Posties cared so much about their patients then these questions would not have had to be raised by a consultant performing an incomplete analysis of Darien’s EMS system. In fact, I went over this issue with Bob in our meeting and apparently he followed through.
I believe Posties haven’t followed through because they have more important things to do like plan their Food Fair.
I have been told that Spencer McLlmurray is back in the race for Selectman. This is good news because it would appear that the family medical emergency is resolving itself favorably.
McLlmurray now joins incumbent Susan Marks and challenger Joe Warren in the horse race for two Republican Selectmen seats. It is unclear whether First Selectman Jayme Stevenson will try and find another running mate to join her and Susan Marks on the ticket. Her choice of Jennifer Sommer ended disastrously when I disclosed Sommer’s tendency to not pay her bills resulting in Sommer dropping out of contention. Given her poor judgement, Stevenson might be best to go with either McLlmurray or Warren as a running mate to join Marks. It is also unclear whether anyone would want to join Stevenson as a running mate.
Warren has already interviewed with the RTC but McLlmurray and Marks have not. Marks is not very well liked by a number of members of the RTC. In fact, a number of them refer to her as the “troll” for whatever reason. I do not believe Marks and Warren are favorites of Danny, the Duke of Darien, Dolcetti.
The Duke attempts to exercise influence over certain RTC members. It remains to be seen how the race for Republican Selectmen spots plays out.
My wife and I have been going to the Grove Street concerts on Friday nights for several years and really enjoy them. Obviously, the music by local artists is the main reason for attending. However, there is another reason that makes these Friday night concerts entertaining. The Darien gossip you pick up is fascinating.
I remember last year the talk was all about First Selectman Jayme Stevenson living in Rowayton. There was gossip of her living on property owned by a Darien developer. People whispered about her wanting to be close to a very close friend. I am not sure if any of this made sense but it was out there. This year there was talk about the Jennifer Sommer financial problems and why Stevenson would pick somebody like her for Selectman.
Don’t think that the gossip is only about Stevenson. There are plenty of other topics including other politicians, politics in general and school related topics. So come to the Friday night concerts and keep one ear on the music and one ear to the ground for some juicy tidbits.
I just read a news report that JP Morgan Vice Chairman James Lee died at his Darien home while exercising. He experienced shortness of breath. I wonder how long it took the paramedics to reach him?
In paragraph 5 of his resignation letter, EMS consultant Bob Holdsworth states: “There is unclear data about the time it takes from original 911 answered by Darien PD to the PD’s handoff to CMED to the dispatch of a medic and the medic’s ultimate arrival.”
The first point I would make is that Bob validates what I have been saying. I have said that response time should not be calculated from the time the paramedics receive the call from CMED to arrival time on scene. On average this is 9+ minutes. I have been including the dispatch time which starts when CMED gets the call switched over from Darien PD to the time CMED notifies the paramedics. The dispatch takes about 4 minutes which increases response time to 13+ minutes. Even Post 53 has started disclosing on their web site that their posted response time is from the time of paramedic dispatch.
I have not included the time from 911 call receipt by Darien PD to the time of switchover to CMED because I did not know how to obtain the data. Bob confirms that the data exists but is not available without “a time consuming manual process.” This additional time that is not being included should bring the total and accurate response time 15+ minutes, a completely unacceptable number.
For those Selectmen who are concerned about best practices, it has not been a best practice for Post to not want the true response time to be reported. This apparent false reporting of response times over years can not have been an accident. It is completely unacceptable for First Selectman Jayme Stevenson to say our current EMS system is just fine.